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“Black Friday”? Try #GivingTuesday!

What is Giving Tuesday?

 We’re so glad you asked! #GivingTuesdayCLT is Charlotte’s local response to the global #GivingTuesday movement which developed to encourage individuals around the country to give back to their communities and make positive changes in the lives of their neighbors. The Charlotte chapter is an unprecedented collaboration of over 230 Charlotte nonprofits as well as corporations, local businesses, professional sports teams, and community organizations working together for the greater good.

 

How does PFLAG fit into this campaign?

PFLAG Charlotte is excited and honored to be a part of Giving Tuesday for a second year. As an official #GivingTuesdayCLT 2017 Nonprofit Partner, we have an amazing opportunity to spread our mission to the greater community, to raise awareness of the issues facing our LGBT+ children and friends, and to offer support to other amazing organizations working for positive change in the Charlotte community. The donations we receive from this event will go towards helping us maintain our activism and, hopefully, to expand our services even further in the year to come.

 

Is it only a one-day event?

Nope! Giving Tuesday is a two-week endeavor that stretches from November 14th to November 28th. The goal is not only to raise money for local nonprofits but, perhaps more importantly, to raise awareness of the issues that these nonprofits are working to address. You can donate any time from the 14th through the 28th.

 

How can I get involved?

There are so many ways! We would, of course, be honored by any financial assistance you can provide. To contribute, head on over to our donation page at https://sharecharlotte.org/donate/18071.

Perhaps even more importantly, you can help by spreading the word! You can do this through word of mouth, retweeting our #GivingTuesdayCLT posts on Twitter @pflagcharlotte, changing your profile picture on Facebook to one of the graphics below, or sharing your story of why giving is important to you using the hashtag #GivingTuesdayCLT on any social media platform. Remember: this isn’t just a one-day campaign: share, re-share, and share again through the 28th!

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The Lavender Pen Tour

Last night, the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus teamed up with Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir to perform a very special show at Ovens Auditorium. The final stop on the Lavender Pen Tour, this night of music, celebration, advocacy, and togetherness was a true testimony to the power of music to bring people together and speak wisdom even into the darkest of times.

The San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus was founded 40 years ago. Their first official “concert” was performed less than four months after the group’s formation at the memorial services for Harvey Milk (San Francisco’s first openly-gay elected official) and Mayor George Moscone after their assassination on November 27, 1978.

SFGMC planned the Lavender Pen Tour (named in honor of the lavender pen that Harvey Milk gave to Mayor Moscone to sign into being a gay civil rights bill passed a year before their death) shortly after last year’s election. Rather than go ahead with their planned trip to Europe, conductor Timothy Seelig and men of the choir decided that their talent could be better used spreading their message of love and acceptance to some of the South’s most conservative, anti-LGBT “Red” states.

Joining forced with Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir, SFGMC began their tour in Mississippi, traveling through Alabama, Tennessee, and South Carolina before ending in North Carolina. The group performed at a number of interfaith services as well as big-venue concerts. In Selma, Alabama, they marched across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, and throughout the week-long tour, the singers met with local LGBT, civil rights, and religious organizations. Each concert’s earnings were given directly back to the community: any money that didn’t go directly to covering the base cost of the trip was donated to local LGBT organizations. To make this remarkable charity possible, each member of SFGMC and OIFGC paid the $2000+ to cover their own way.

Last night’s concert at Oven’s Auditorium featured opening acts by the Gay Men’s Chorus of Charlotte and One Voice Chorus of Charlotte. Proceeds went to Time Out Youth, RAIN, PFLAG Charlotte, Transcend, and the participating choruses. Nearly every act was met with a standing ovation, and the energy and love in the performance space was palpable from beginning to end.

For more information about SFGMC, please visit their website at http://www.sfgmc.org. More information about the Lavender Pen Tour can be found there, as well.

The blog is back!

Apologies are in order! Our Social Media Coordinator (Jordan F) was out of the country this summer, and our blog fell by the wayside. Luckily, we still had our Facebook page to keep everyone updated on important matters, but now we’re back, and we hope you forgive us our lapse in entries.

There have been so many updates since the last post in June! In order to keep this post from becoming an essay that no one wants to read (except you academic types: we love you), we’re putting this in a bulleted list.

  • PFLAG had wonderful representation at Pride this August! Our float’s theme was “It’s a jungle out there. PFLAG loves you,” and we had a great turnout of volunteers who made the Family Fun Zone a success once again.
  • This Saturday, September 23rd, Bold Missy Brewery [610 Anderson St.] will be donating $1 of every beer sale to PFLAG Charlotte! Good beer, good friends, good cause. We hope to see you there!
  • PFLAG Charlotte participated in Wells Fargo’s Flash Philanthropy Campaign on September 7th, and we were awarded $1,000! The campaign runs through the month of September, and if we win the virtual campaign, we may receive an additional $5,000. Many thanks to Wells Fargo for being such a great corporate ally.
  • San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus is coming to Charlotte as part of its Lavender Pen Tour on Saturday, October 14th. They will be performing at Ovens Auditorium along with members of the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir, One Voice Chorus and the Charlotte Gay Men’s chorus of Charlotte in their campaign to spread their message of love and acceptance. For more information, check out the event website.
  • PFLAG board members Jesse, Sarah, and Ashley will be attending the PFLAG National Convention this October and will be presenting a workshop on “Creating a Successful Advocacy Campaign.” We are very excited to announce that our group is going to be awarded the Outstanding Chapter Award. So proud of our members and our board!

There are so many wonderful things going on right now, it’s hard to include them all in one blog entry! Keep an eye out for updates in the next week or so, and remember to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and now Instagram @pflagcharlotte!

Our next PFLAG meeting will be on Monday, October 9th at the new Time Out Youth facilities.

 

“Gender Revolution” screening on Monday, June 12!

In lieu of our regular PFLAG meeting, we will be gathering on Monday, June 12th at our regular time (6:30pm) for a free and family-friendly screening of the documentary “Gender Revolution.” Everyone is invited, kids included!

This engaging film, released earlier this year, was created by National Geographic to address the question “what is gender?” Katie Couric travels across the country, interviewing people of all ages, races, ethnicity, and nationalities in order to broaden our understanding of the vastly diverse world of gender identity. Topics tackled include the difference between gender identity and expression, trans discrimination and hate crimes, HB2, and intersexuality.

To view the trailer and to watch bonus scenes and clips from “Gender Revolution,” head on over to http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/gender-revolution-a-journey-with-katie-couric/.

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NOTE: We will meet at Time Out Youth in NoDa — T.O.Y. does not move into their new digs until July.

More exciting news for T.O.Y.!

Time Out Youth has made the newspaper again, and we couldn’t be happier for them!

The Charlotte Observer recently reported that Howard Levine, former CEO of Family Dollar, and his wife have issued a $100,000 matching grant to support T.O.Y. as it expands into its new location on Monroe Road. They are asking that other donors rise to the challenge to meet that amount.

This gift officially puts Time Out Youth over the halfway point in their fundraising efforts. The Kleins donation joins other generous contributions from organizations like Myers Park Baptist Church which recently donated $100,000 to the youth center.

Time Out Youth is set to move into their new location at 3800 Monroe Road this month.

To read the original article, click here.

LGBT+ reading recommendations

At our most recent PFLAG meeting, conversation about LGBT-inclusive books came up, prompting the desire among some of our members for a list of reading recommendations. Although it isn’t exhaustive, we’ve started to make that list here and will be adding to it as new titles are brought to our attention.

YA Fiction
Simon vs. the Homosapien Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Ask the Passengers
by A.S. King
I’ll Give You the Sun
by Jandy Nelson
Gracefully Grayson
by Ami Polonsky
Guardian of the Dead
by Karen Healey

Non-Fiction
Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gay vs. Christian Debate by Justin Lee
The Invisible Orientation: An Introduction to Asexuality by Julia Sondra Decker
This Book is Gay by James Dawson
Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin
Rethinking Normal by Katie Rain Hill

If you have any recommendations of your own, please leave a comment with the title and author below!

May updates

Our monthly meeting will take place tomorrow evening (Monday, May 8) at 6:30 pm at Time Out Youth’s location on North Davidson Street.

We are excited to welcome Betsy Thompson, program coordinator of mental health services for Teen Health Connection, as our guest speaker this Monday night at 6:30 pm. Betsy is a Licensed Professional Counselor (or LPC) as well as a licensed school counselor who has been working with adolescents in a variety of settings for over 10 years. She will be speaking to us about Teen Health tomorrow evening with a focus on the work that the organization does to support the LGBT+ community.

If you are looking for something to do between now and tomorrow night, we encourage you to read Connie Norris’ thoughtful article written for the May edition of Mecklenburg Medicine about her frustrations as the parent of a young transgender child having to deal with the ignorance of a family physician. The piece also discusses the work that PFLAG Charlotte has done to educate the local medical community through its Healthcare Outreach Campaign in partnership with MCMS Child Health Committee.